The holidays are a time when many businesses experience a surge in sales, but as a small business, it can be hard to compete with multimillion-dollar mega stores that are able to slash their prices and give big incentives for shoppers.

We know that Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, where people often start standing in lines or shopping after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner so that they can get a bargain on the big-ticket items on their holiday list. The day after Black Friday is called Small Business Saturday, where shoppers are encouraged to go to the mom and pop shops of their area and help support local businesses through the holidays.

 American Express has become a big supporter of small business Saturday and says that in 2016 there were 112 million Americans that chose to shop or dine in their local businesses.  There are many different ways that your company can participate in small business Saturday to help drive customers there year after year.

As we said before, American Express is a huge part of the day. They offer a variety of free resources for companies including free signs, email templates, web badges, posters and some other materials for marketing use. Don’t underestimate the use of offline promoting. If your promotional material to be more personalized and stand out, you can always contact our graphic design department to get a customized design.

One of the most successful things a business can do for the day is to partner with local businesses and organize a neighborhood event. This could mean renting a space and putting a shop together, having a restaurant provide space for vendor tables, or putting together a plaza party if you have neighbors that want to help encourage people to shop in your area. Some people are able to do free giveaways for food or trinkets that help draw in the crowds. There’s power in numbers, and if you and your neighbors are able to combine your efforts you then you’re able to help your business and the business community.

Customers are drawn to a good deal, so give them a reason to come to you. You can do a myriad of sales for the weekend such as spend $X and get something free or a dollar off discount, or something smaller such as a chance to win a prize when they sign up in stores. If you have a local charity that relates to your business or that you’re passionate about their cause, you can do a partial proceeds for the day as well, people love the intrinsic value added shopping experiences. Consider copying the black Friday style sales, do limited time offers or doorbusters , if you’re able to extend your hours you might want to consider it. You want to give them extra incentive to stop by your brick and mortar.

Before you get started on letting everyone know you’re participating in the big day, make sure your website looks good. You want your customers to be able to check out your company and see what specials you might have. If your website isn’t mobile responsive (able to be seen on a smartphone) then you might want to make some updates. Our Web Team can make sure you have no 404 pages, your shopping cart is functional, and all of your content is up to date.

Whatever you plan to do for small business Saturday, focus on making it memorable so they’ll come back to you, and don’t forget to say thank you to your patrons.

 

-Kristin Orr, Marketing Coordinator at BizCentral USA 09/19/2017

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